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0697 PA8660 Amateur Film: Navy Initiation at Sea
This movie is part of the collection: Prelinger Archives
Audio/Visual: silent, color
Creative Commons license: Public Domain
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Mike Mitchell -
Subject: Lake Champlain refueling at sea
Great video! I enjoyed it and it took me back in time. However, the date of filming, circa 1955, was suspect. Therefore I ran the date of filming question past my ex-shipmates on the "CV39THECHAMP" WEB site and the following is our conclusion.
"This video was definitely taken during the Korean cruise and it was taken during the return trip from Yokosuka to Mayport sometime between late October 1953 and early December 1953, when the Champ returned to Mayport."
Time frame clues:
A code of "F" is visible on the tail of a F2H2 Banshee aircraft indicating that it belonged to Carrier Air Group-4 (CVG-4). CVG-4 was deployed on the Lake Champlain during the Korean War cruise (Apr.26, 1953 - Dec.4, 1953 (Med, Indian Ocean, Korean War).
The presence of bow 3"50 guns and fire control director, which were removed after the Korean War cruise.
F4U Corsairs are visible on the flight deck. F4U Corsairs squadrons were not deployed on the Lake Champlain after the Korean War cruise.
Former Lake Champlain sailor
This is a classic film of refueling at sea. I was a SM aboard a reefer and I participated in many a event like this. The Oiler is the USS Pawcatuck(AO-108). She was assigned to the 6th Fleet, which means this footage was probably shot in the Med. The timeframe of 1955 or so is probably correct since those are Panther jets on deck,along with what appear to be A3D's (prop jobs). As the ship approaches, you see the Romeo flag being flown which means prepared to be received. The other flags are the Bravo flags which is a Danger flag flown when loading fuel or ammo. The two black diamonds are flown when two ships are underway and not able to manuvuer on their own. They have the right of way at sea. The other hoist shows that a flag officer is aboard and who the command vessel is,in this case most likely the Carrier.For those who never participated in something this, it's hard to imagine what it's like. The Oiler was later converted to a Jumbo and I may have some stills of her from my own Med cruises after conversion.
Subject: A Link to a Real Navy Initiation.
Boys and toys - what can I say.
Subject: Refueling, not hazing
As an ex-Navy sailor, I can say that what we have here is an underway replenishment at sea. The first shots show an aircraft carrier (CVA-39, USS Lake Champlain) taking on fuel from an oiler (AO-108, though I don't know the name yet). The movie is shot from the deck of an unnamed destroyer that comes up along the other side of the oiler to start its own refueling. The last shots show the destroyer some time later having finished refueling, now pulling away. Judging by the planes on the deck of the carrier, I'd also say it's ca. 1955. There's no hazing (probably on a section of the film that wasn't archived). The hazing probably would have been during the crossing the line ceremony (crossing the equator). I went through it myself and had a blast, but in any case, it's not on this section of film I enjoyed seeing it. I've seen the real thing any number of times, though for those who don't know what's going on, there's not much for you here.
Subject: There's a ship, and there's another one!
Those expecting some sort of hazing ritual will be put off by this somewhat deceptively titled film which features some great shots of ships at sea, and an aircraft carrier. It also shows some sailors at sea. But that's about it. I would date this film mid 1950's.